The morning of Monday, 9/26/2016, was once again chilly and foggy. Since it was our final day of our stay in Elk Country and the hotel breakfast seemed to be served a little earlier than schedule, Elena and I decided to sit down and have a breakfast today. We ate quickly because we didn't want to miss anything down in the meadows we've been visiting each morning.
We arrived in the valley and was happy to find there was little fog, much unlike the surrounding mountains. You will see in the following photographs that the fog will move in and out before the morning is over.
Having made photographs and video of the same herd the past couple of days, I decided to spend a little time photographing some of the unique individuals we've been seeing. I found this young guy and his handlebar rack very interesting.
It didn't take long before the fog began to roll into the meadow. These two young bulls ventured off alone and it was nice to photograph the interaction between them.
Even though they are not "players" during the rut, the youngsters go through the motions just like the older bulls. I don't have video but it was comical hearing this young guy try his hand at bugling.
We've been watching this piebald cow and her two calves all weekend.
This guy came from a distant field chasing in one cow which you can witness in the first video after this photo. The dominant bull of this herd made sure that he didn't get any closer.
Since this is our last morning of this visit I, once again, want to share with you the activity of a typical morning of the rut. This six minute video contains clips over a two and a half hour period. You will see the clear air become foggy and finally lift again. Occasionally, a bull tries to enter the field but is promptly chased away by the dominant bull, and you even get to witness some of the downtime when they finally get to lay down or simply eat.
About mid-morning it got pretty quiet in the meadow but we could still hear distant bugling so Elena and I went in search of that bull. About a half a mile away we found the following bull with a small herd.
He paced the field keeping his cows together.
There were still bugles in the distance and he answered every one of them.
I thought she was very pretty surrounded by Goldenrod.
A few hundred yards away in the back of the field this bull had accumulated a small harem for himself.
Between this bull, the one in the front of the field, and the bull we were watching earlier in the morning, there was some three-way bugling across the valley.
This video shows the two bulls working their harems before heading into the woods for the day. At the end of the video you will see the first bull of the morning rubbing and thrashing a small tree before making his way down to see where the other herds were.
Here is the early morning bull crossing into the new field before disappearing into the woods.
With all the herds entering the woods, it marked the end of our morning. Heavy rain was forecast for the afternoon so Elena and I decided to go home and get some rest before our work week began on Tuesday.
Thanks for looking,